Sewing a travel wardrobe

Travel wardrobeSo before I left on my travels I kept on promising a post about all the adventure clothes that I planned to sew. And then promptly never got around to it. Which is pretty standard behaviour for me if I’m honest, so sorry about that. But one sunny morning in KK, when a combination of jet lag, sunburn and soaring temperatures made venturing outside less than tempting, I finally got around to photographing my travel wardrobe. After all my grand plans to make a multitude of different garments, my travel pieces boil down to just two patterns. Oh well! Make what you love, and make it well (is my new motto).

Cocos travelOne pattern that I definitely love love love is Coco. All of these Coco dresses have been featured on the blog in one form or another (here, here, here and here!), so I won’t cover them in too much detail again. But they are completely perfect for travel in the tropics. I like them as a slightly smarter evening option, or to sling on over a swimming cossie for the beach or pool. Plus they don’t crease (much) and roll up to practically nothing. Leaving more space in the luggage for new fabric purchases, mwahahaha.

Margot trousers blu chambrayNow on to the first of the new makes. Lightweight trousers are a travel must for me. They are cool, comfy, high in SPF and a great way for reducing any attention that you might not want as a tall, blonde woman in South East Asia. Back in my jungle fieldwork days I used to have two really beat up pairs of Primark linen trousers that were perfect. Until the stitching on the ass completely gave out. This time around I decided to use the sweat shop of Lizzy instead, and ran up this pair a few days before we left, using the Tilly and the Buttons Margot pyjama pattern and 2.5m of blue chambray scored in the John Lewis sale.

Margot shorts red and white

I also used the Margot pattern to rustle up two pairs of shorts, one lightweight pair in white linen and a slightly more robust pair in red cotton drill. I looked at a few patterns for shorter length shorts, but to be honest I feel much more comfortable in board shorts rather than hot pants. Like their sister trousers, these took no time to make at all. I tried my hand at making them in tandem, and had them finished in about two hours. And so far they are standing up well to the trials of travelling. The white pair has already survived a sea kayaking expedition, almost total immersion in salt water, and being washed in a hotel bath. Good luck red pair, it’s your turn now.

Speaking of making things well, all of these garments are the very best that I have made so far in terms of quality and finish. As well as overlocking everything in sight, I also reinforced the crotch seams and drawstring openings with triple stitch. For the Cocos I attached the seams together with zig zag stitch before reinforcing them with the overlocker. I really hope this means that I won’t have too much mending to do as I go.

Margot trousers inside view

Overlocking details

If I’d got my act together, and had more time, I would have liked to try my hand at a basic linen shirt dress as well, but never mind. Add it to the list of more challenging sewing for later in the year!

What do you think?